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Recruiting: Warning Signs an Applicant Is Not Serious

Hiring job applicants can be tricky. Many are relatively happy with their current role and not motivated enough to make a change. Some of these applicants use a job offer to gain a counteroffer and stay with their employer. Other applicants take a position they are not interested in because they need money, then leave when something better comes along. No matter the reason, these applicants take away time and money that could be used on those who truly want the position and plan to remain long-term. Knowing what to look for when hiring can help you focus on the serious applicants only.

Four red flags to weed out applicants who are not serious about filling your job opening.


1. General Cover Letter and Resume  

A serious applicant has their cover letter and resumes tailored to the role. They specify which skills, experience, and qualifications make them best suited for the position. The applicant also includes their top accomplishments for previous employers that they can attain for their next employer. If this information is not included, the applicant probably is not committed to the role.

2. Problems with Communication

A serious applicant responds to communications in an efficient, professional manner. For instance, they acknowledge within 24 hours whether they would like to schedule an interview. The applicant also asks and answers questions in an appropriate manner. Plus, they let the hiring manager know before the deadline whether they accept or want to renegotiate a job offer. If the applicant fails to reply to communications, uses slang in their responses, or hounds the hiring manager throughout the recruitment process, they probably are not the right person for the job.

3. Questionable Employment Lengths

A serious applicant typically spends several years with one company before moving to another. They stay long enough to gain the skills and experience needed to advance their career with another employer. If an applicant lists less than a year of employment with multiple companies or is leaving their organization after decades of service, there may be a problem. Odds are, this is not the best hire for your team.

4. Lack of Interview Preparation

A serious applicant shows up having researched your company, open role, industry, and competitors. They can share their reasons for wanting to join your organization and specific reasons why they would excel in the position. The applicant relates stories to illustrate their answers to your questions. They also ask questions about you, your team, and the organization to decide whether they fit with the culture and would be happy performing the work. If the applicant provides answers that are vague or not relevant to your questions, they most likely did not prepare for the interview. Odds are they would lack the motivation to perform their best and should not be hired.

Source Serious Candidates

Work with Staff Right Solutions to find qualified candidates ready to fill your accounting or light industrial jobs in New Jersey. Contact us today for more information.

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